Where Did I Put My Notes?  A Status Update on My Novel in Progress

Rather than talking again about how I haven’t written properly for a couple months … because … well … you know … life. Work has been extremely busy and I find myself too exhausted for my imagination to kick in. Wait! That’s a lie! My imagination kicks in as I’m trying to fall asleep. For example, last night I had a brilliant scene jump into my mind just as I was drifting off. I knew it would be gone by morning so I crept out of the room, fired up my laptop and took some notes. I was able fall asleep with ease knowing that scene was safe and sound.

Anyway … I thought I’d pop in and give you an update about how my story IS progressing so far.

A Bit of Background

My story has 4 main characters on 4 distinct storylines. As the story progresses their thoughts start to weave together until they meet at the climax near the very end of it. I’m a little uncertain if I want each story to have its own section or if I should break them up into more of a timeline. At this point it could go either way … and I’m not worrying about that now (that’s what an editor is for!).

So far I have:

  • 9 chapters written. At least I’m calling them chapters for now; some may be consolidated or disappear altogether later.
  • I have a loose outline of how I saw the story coming together about 2 months ago. I’m not sure this is the form it will actually take but it gives me some structure to work with.
  • I have lots of great character notes: back story, character notes (quirks, present situation), why they’re in the story, what their goals are in the story and some of the challenges I want them to overcome.
  • I have a list of scenes to write. My idea is that I’ll write out the scenes and then when I’m assembling the story I’ll write in the ties between the scenes.
  • I have 10 scenes written from the list of scenes I mentioned above.
  • I have notes galore of research and ideas for settings and structure. Some notes are on paper and some I’ve got in an online notebook using Evernote.

Where Did I Leave That Note?

One of my biggest challenges right now is finding my notes when I need them. I’ll often just grab whatever notebook or piece of paper is closest at hand to jot down my brilliant ideas as they come. Now they’re scattered and I’m freaking out a little bit. I’m not sure if taking the time to get everything in one place is valuable or if that would be another procrastination tactic. (Suggestions welcome!)

Non-linear Writing

I’m starting to come to terms with the way the story is coming together and I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked. This process is almost identical to the way my first book was written. Actually, my first book wasn’t really written … it was assembled from all sorts of pieces I had written. I’m putting all my faith in the possibility that it will come together in the end. The truth is that right now I don’t know exactly how I want the story to be presented. All I know at this point is that if I wait until I know, it may never be written.

I think my notes will be my saving grace, whether I have them in hand or not. I find that when I write something down it tends to stick somewhere in my brain. What doesn’t stick is usually replaced with something better anyway.  I know this seems like a very scattered way to write a novel. At least it seems so when compared to all the PROPER techniques I’ve read about.

What have you discovered about your writing technique that’s different?